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Picnics, popstars and pōhutukawa at Music in Parks

Published: 28 November 2019

For the last 40 summers, Auckland Council has brought melodies of every genre to Auckland parks and reserves with its always-stellar Music in Parks series.

Summer of 2020 will see 25 free music events coming to a park near you.

Kiwi stars Jason Kerrison, Anika Moa and The Feelers will take to the stage at The Hits Kiwi Anthems concert in Lloyd Elsmore Park, supported by Howick Local Board.

Legendary Midge Marsden is back by popular demand to play what’s sure to be an excellent rhythm and blues set for Blues at Blockhouse Bay.

Basque Park in Eden Terrace will host a brand new event Uptown Sounds brought to the 2020 Music in Parks series by Uptown Business Association and headlined by Pluto.

Meanwhile, acts like Carb on Carb and Lucky Boy will bring their indie sound to Love Songs from the Underground at Auckland Domain Rotunda and Otium (below) are bringing their unique funk roots sound to Te Atatu’s Jack Pringle Library Green on 27 March.

So, head on down to one of your local parks this summer for a festival vibe as you groove along to:

  • David Dallas and Kings making you dance your heart out at Flava Urban Beats
  • Bleeders will rock Auckland at Radio Hauraki Rock Royale in Henderson Park
  • Pluto re-unite this summer and perform at Uptown Sounds
  • Geoff Ong and Tijah as they bring their pop/dance flavours to Pop by the Rotunda
  • Opera in the Park where artists perform favourite opera pieces and show-tunes in partnership with NZ Opera
  • Suzy Cato’s musical friends at Kids Music in Parks in Birkenhead
  • Funky beats and soul melodies at Funk in the Sun at Potters Park

Photo credit: Bryan Lowe, Auckland Council

Gavin Downie, Auckland Council Music in Parks Event Manager, says: “We all love the outdoors and a good summer soundtrack, so Music in Parks brings Aucklanders that soundtrack every weekend with 25 events across the region - free, live and close to home – from January until April.”

“After touring with bands myself, I realised how lucky we are in Auckland with our wide open green spaces and parks. So I feel excited we can bring these spaces alive with the sound of opera, rock, indie, anthems and te Reo artists.“    

He says: “In my experience music and rhythms are something people are drawn to. From an early age, we love the groovy beat of a drum kit or a funky bassline or a voice so Music in Parks really is for the whole family. You never know where your children might get the spark to go on to be the next Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tiki Tane or Lorde. I think it’s good to surround children with music. “

For information about both Movies in Parks and Music in Parks, go to moviesinparks.co.nz and musicinparks.co.nz for the full 2020 line-up.

Event information will also be available via Facebook throughout summer. 

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) is Auckland Council's media partner for the 2020 summer programme, with Music in Parks supported by iHeartRadio and NZ Herald and Movies in Parks supported by The Hits and NZ Herald.  

Looking Back

More than 100 years ago Auckland summers would bring crowds of people to the city's parks to hear contemporary music. 

A 1913 photo from the Alexander Turnbull Library archive shows people dressed in Edwardian finery gathering around the open-air band rotunda at Auckland Domain; trees filtering the sun.

People listening to the band playing at the permanent band rotunda during the Auckland Exhibition, Auckland Domain. Ref: 1/2-001135-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22527115.

On Sunday 12 January 2020, kicking off Auckland Council’s Music in Parks series, the same historic band rotunda in Auckland Domain will be filled with the dreamy sounds of breakthrough music talent. 

Artists will play their latest music as families soak up the vibe from their picnic rugs without needing a booking or a ticket. It’s free. 

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